More Amore for Good Health

Have you had enough of the daily news about endless epic failures of humankind to get things right? What if everyone just made love a little more? Would we all be in a better place? The fact is, having sex – or more to the point, making love – is downright good for you.

We’ve said it before, and it bears repeating. Good sex is good exercise. Interesting acrobatics between two people involve a little stretching to limber up the muscles. Vigorous aerobic activity consumes calories. Good exercise, no matter how you get it, will help fight off the demon of obesity. If couch potatoes traded watching TV with chips for a regular romp with their partners, there would be a lot less heart disease too.

A fair question though, is whether having sex could trigger a heart attack. In considering the far more likely ways you will leave this Earth, going out with a bang in the clutches of your loved one doesn’t seem that tragic. If you can walk up a couple flights of stairs, then you are likely going to be all right with arousal in bed.

Numerous studies have shown that maintaining an active sex life is consistent with living a longer, healthier, and happier life.

A sense of humour is also key. Since when did sex have to be serious? Some people know how to play. The French, for example, like to “faire un partie des jambes en l’air”, meaning to play a session of legs in the air. They raise the action to a dramatic ending with “le petit mort”, the little death.

Not all couples have the kind of relationship that allows for funny role play. But wouldn’t the world be better off if more people made up daytime tiffs with fun and fanciful night-time dramas in their bedrooms?

Pain relief is another benefit of sex. The hormone oxytocin can reach five times the normal level during sexual activity. This payoffs for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Oxytocin releases endorphins, the body’s own morphine. If you have a headache, the better alternative to reaching for a painkilling pill is reaching for your partner. It’s an easy experiment and the results can be pleasurable.

Now for men, take note. Studies have found that greater ejaculation frequency is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. How? During orgasm, the muscles around the prostate gland contract pushing out prostate fluid. This naturally keeps the gland healthy, in keeping with the “use it or you’ll lose it” principle. Researchers have also studied how other problems with the prostate can be treated with prescriptions for more sex, one way or another.

Making love might be a distraction from bigger battles. But it can be like building ramparts against invading armies too. Getting in a regular romantic groove means you are doing good maintenance in charging up the natural antibodies that boost immunity. One study found that people who have sex more than three times a month had lower incidence of viral infections than those having less sex. One wonders how big the difference would be if the research had investigated sex more than three times a week!

Today too many people are reaching for anti-depressants and sleeping pills to treat anxiety and insomnia. But this medication often causes side effects. They forget the remedy found between the sheets. Normal sex is the natural way to lessen tension and encourage sleep.

Maybe more amore would be good practice for world leaders too. Make love, not war, right? Alas, history tells us otherwise.

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